sympathy

“Together Again” Helen Irene Huigens joined her loving husband Paul Keith Huigens on September 16, 2021 having lived 98 years, 10 months, and 25 days. Paul, at the age of 96, had gone ahead on January 20, 2018.

In their memory, a Mass of Christian burial will be held for both of them on September 24, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Paul Catholic in Plainview, NE. Following a luncheon, a private interment service will be held at St. Ludger Catholic Cemetery in Creighton, NE. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to St. Paul Catholic Social Hall, in their honor.

Helen was born in Ligonier, IN on October 22, 1922. Edward J. and Catherine E Healey walked into an orphanage and Edward said, “That’s my little girl, she’s in a pink blanket.” They became Helen’s loving parents from that day forward. Paul was born on November 13, 1922, the son of Edward J. and Theresa F. (Tracy) Huigens of Creighton, NE.

Both Paul and Helen attended St. Ludger Academy in Creighton, NE with Helen graduating from there, while Paul switched to Creighton High School for the opportunity to participate in sports.

Helen began attending business school after graduation in Sioux City, IA and returned home after her father suffered a heart attack. She assisted at her parents’ business, Healey Hardware Store, while her father recuperated at home. During WWII, a Creighton gentleman who worked for the U.S. Post Office was drafted, so Helen took over his position. Doing so, guaranteed the position to be available to him upon being discharged from his military service.

Paul attended Barber School in Lincoln, NE and after graduating he worked briefly in Wayne, NE. Paul was drafted into the Army in 1942, serving in the Philippines. Paul was discharged from his military assignment in December 1945.

The couple were married June 18, 1946 at St. Ludger Catholic Church in Creighton, NE. Helen outlived her entire wedding party, including her niece who served as flower girl. They were blessed with six children: Edward, Thomas, Mary Helen, Timothy, Catherine, and Michael.

Paul worked for barber Harley Hawk in Plainview, NE eventually purchasing the business. Helen was a stay-at-home mother, keeping the home running, and kids in line. She enjoyed being out-of-doors, attending to flowers, her small garden, and mowing the lawn; something Paul had no interest in doing. Paul preferred the lawns and greens of the Plainview Country Club. He was the club champion two different years.

With the two youngest entering Junior High, the couple purchased the IGA Market in 1969. Helen took the reins while Paul continued barbering. After numerous years, one with Helen being named “Boss of the Year,” the store was sold in November 1984. Helen was able to enjoy retirement playing bridge, hosting Paul’s poker parties, being part of the hospital auxiliary and church Altar Society, along with being part of her grandchildren’s activities. Helen enjoyed mowing and yard work until July 2020.

Paul enjoyed his shop; not sure if it was cutting hair or it could have been telling jokes, chatting with people, and of course waving to passers-by. He hung up the shears in 2009 at the age of 89.

They were preceded in death by their infant daughter Mary Helen. Paul is survived by his sister Betty Timm.

Surviving them are their children: Edward of Elkhorn, NE, Thomas (John) of Henderson NV, Timothy (Sheri), Catherine (Russ) both of Plainview, NE, and Michael of Tulsa, OK; along with 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.